June 22nd, 2024

College plumbing apprentice tests skills against world’s best

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on December 8, 2022.

Lethbridge College photo by Rob Olson Josh Mandin, a second year plumbing apprentice at Lethbridge College, recently represented Canada at the WorldSkills Plumbing and Heating competition in Lahr, Germany.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

A Lethbridge College second year plumbing apprentice recently represented the whole country during the WorldSkills Plumbing and Heating competition in Lahr, Germany.

After winning the Provincial Skills Canada Competition in early May 2022 representing Lethbridge College in Edmonton, Joshua Mandin went on to win gold at the national level just a few weeks later in Vancouver earning the opportunity to represent Canada in the plumbing category in the WorldSkills Competition.

“In June I continued my training at the college with my trainer Jeremy Bridge and closer to the competition we started training a little more intensive, more focused I would say,” said Mandin.

He said when they first arrived in Germany for the competition in October, the first three days were spent familiarizing himself with the new tools and materials and wrapping their heads around everything.

“Just kind of get an idea of it for the competition and after that we had opening ceremonies and the next day was day one of the competition,” said Mandin.

He said the competition lasted three days to complete four projects.

“It was a lot of fun. It was great to meet all the other people from around the world. It was an amazing experience,” said Mandin.

He said there was 20 competitors in total and he was the only one from North America.

“I ranked 18th out of all but it was still a good experience, I mean 18 among people from all around the world so that’s pretty good,” said Mandin.

The WorldSkills Competition takes place every two years and is considered the largest and most influential skills competition in the world and represents the best of international excellence in skilled trades and technologies. Competitors come together to participate in simulated real work challenges, while being judged against international quality standards.

Mandin said the experience is one he will never forget.

“The idea of being on the world stage working around people from all across the world, realizing how fortunate I am to be in that position, something I might not be able to do again, but very excited to say that I did,” said Mandin.

He said he had a lot of help, not only from his trainer but also from his employer Artex Plumbing and Gasfitting, who allowed him to take the time off needed to train, as well as to travel to Germany for the competition.

Mandin said the skills that got him as far as he went, were a mixture of skills learned at the college and at work.

“From school a lot of the technical knowledge like the math side and just getting good at certain techniques, where I can just try it out at the college without worrying about wasting material, compared to at work where I learned a lot of skills, techniques and skills knowledge that’s required to complete tasks,” said Mandin.

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